That headache…

I woke up with a headache this morning. Not just any kind of headache, one that tells me a migraine is coming. It’s been a while since I’ve had one of those.

Sometimes when I have things to do, okay usually, I’ll take a couple of tablets and see if that’s enough to deal with it. That only works in the early stages. I searched and couldn’t find any headache tablets here, so rather than buy some I thought I’d follow it and see where it came from.

You see, migraines don’t threaten me for no reason, I know they’re usually stress related. It was a mystery to me, as I don’t really feel stressed. At least that’s what I told myself. I tried to spend the day listening to my thoughts.

Sure there was an email from my son last night before I went to sleep, a standard, anger filled missive. Anger sent back with love and polite reply sent. Job interview tomorrow. I’m okay with that. Trip to Queensland this week to swap cars and collect some warmer clothes, paperwork, etc. Mmmm, woolen socks. My toes can barely wait. Work on the weekend in Brisbane. That’s always fun. Enrollment for a course I want to do… but what if I enrol at that campus and can’t find work or somewhere to live nearby? Two tyres for my car… Has my car been serviced as promised by my father? Will he pressure me make reasonable requests for me to stay in Queensland longer? Will I be paid for work on the weekend?  Oh. I see. What if I can’t get back to Sydney?

It was interesting to watch the different reactions in my body to my thoughts. To feel the shoulders tighten, twitches here and there, the belly goes acidic, nausea kicks in, headache worsens. The last thoughts were enough to send the pain in my head skyrocketing. That was when the headache reached the point I had to vomit.

After that the headache came and went. Thankfully, it never reached migraine stage. I knew what was at the heart of it.

Every time I felt the pain returning I’d take a deep breath and remind myself that the fears are based on events from the past. I’m not that person who would have been pressured to stay anymore. The fears are groundless and have no place in the present. Worst case scenario… I won’t be paid on the weekend and I’ll need to borrow some money or wait a week. Even that’s not the end of the world.

Even though I do understand that the rest will take care of itself, the uncertainty of my situation is a little harder to shake completely. Work, study, home… the three will come together as they’re meant to. I know that, just wish I could really know it.

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A day of finding what’s lost

Some days I’m left wondering why I’m trying to catch my breath. Today was one of those days. Not a bad day by any means, just not a great day and I felt it. It was a day with a growing sense of unease.

Letting myself dwell on this feeling I begin to understand my routines are missing, those routines of healing that have gotten me through the last months. I arrived in Sydney shell-shocked with all that had happened with my son. Within days I felt expansion, the excitement of possibilities. Then I began to drift. That was when my routines fell apart.

I’m sleeping better, even going to sleep earlier. The problem is that I’m waiting to go to sleep when I’m exhausted, too tired to do any of my pre-sleep relaxation routines or meditation. Sleep already??!! Yay!! That’s about as far as my thoughts have gone concerning my sleep habits until tonight.

I began to listen to the chatter of my mind. Most of the chatter is positive. That’s what lulled me the most. There’s no bitch voice, nothing to set off alarm bells. Only little surprises such as I had last night when I walked into the room and questioned why I was there.

I try to listen to the thoughts beyond the chatter and there seems to be a lot of chatter. A lot. And I’ve been ignoring it all. I haven’t been releasing the chatter, as my visits to 750 words have become sporadic. Releasing the chatter there lets me focus on the deeper thoughts and would let me avoid the scattered thoughts of the last week.

My routine of healing has been missing. The relaxation exercises, meditations, the releasing of chatter on 750 words, the affirmations, mantras, the moments of silencing my mind. All missing.

That’s about to change.

That wistful feeling

It’s a quiet evening. Quiet now that younger nephew is preparing for bed. My elder nephew is plugged into his iPod, happily lost in some old, old heavy metal band. Pokemon dvd has finally been turned off and my whole body almost quivered with my need to sigh in relief. I thought younger nephew’s obsession with Thomas the Tank Engine a few years ago would be the end of me. Or maybe that was Teletubbies?

I sigh softly, wistfully remembering the past. Videos of Thomas played over and over and over again when my son went through his own Thomas obsession as a toddler. I used to wonder… why oh why would someone make us sit through the theme music multiple times? Those videos felt like a never-ending loop of theme music to me.

This wistful feeling continues from the weekend, from spending time with my friends, in the city I grew up in. Today it’s family. I walk back into the room and almost feel like an intruder in this time my brother spends with his sons.

I walk in and I question why I’m here and who am I to be a part of this? Choices from the past lay heavily on me tonight, reminding me who I chose to be.

Oh.

That’s the point… it’s “who I chose to be” and not who I’ve chosen to become now.

I smile as my brother decides on a new song to learn on the guitar… People are Strange. I love the Echo and the Bunnymen version. Younger nephew walks in, ready for bed. Everyone laughs as my brother sets aside his guitar and I call out… No, no, no, that song will be in my head all night now!

I can hear the low murmur as my brother reads to younger nephew. Elder nephew picks up the guitar and begins to play.

Right now, I’m here with family and I belong… and there’s no better feeling in the world than that.

Yep, that song wouldn’t leave my head… enjoy some People are Strange…

Feeling out of place

I had a great time in Canberra. Lots of laughs. Lots of food. Lots of alcohol. Oh wait, I didn’t drink. Well, no one drank  a lot. It was great to see friend N who I haven’t seen for around 3 years. When I arrived we threw ourselves into each other’s arms, so there were tears as well.

I’m really glad I went. Well worth killing the fuel budget for!

Getting back to my brother’s flat and I felt… out of place. I was tired and felt like crying. I lay down and slept for a few hours. Waking up I felt better. Still a little down and after spending a little time thinking about how I feel, I came to the conclusion…

The feelings are being brought up from the past. Combine that with the lack of permanency in my life right now. Understandable that I could feel a little out of place. A little of me that was coming face to face to the me that I’m becoming with no real knowledge of me  now. And through all of that… I miss my son.

Time for some more sleep.

Spontaneity, the biggest victim.

The biggest victim with my false perfectionism and it’s related guilt has been… Spontaneity. Yep, that’s the first thing to suffer with my view of the world.

Years ago, while I still lived in Canberra, friend N and I would head off for trips. No real reason, except to get out of town. Usually no destination. One rainy Friday night we’d decided to head to the coast. We began heading east and the further we drove, the heavier the rain became. So we turned around and headed in the other direction. We found clear skies somewhere on the way to the Victorian border. It was a fun weekend. The unplanned ones were always the best.

Even now, even though I can see the problems with the way I’ve always thought, I seem to keep myself under tight control. I seem to spend so much time keeping watch on my thoughts, so I’m less spontaneous. I play less. And really, play is just as important to my state of mind.

Friend N rang me a few hours ago. She was on a day trip with her son to collect some things. They got to the Victorian border, did what they set out to do, thought about how close they are to Canberra and decided… F*** it!

That’s the attitude we used to live by. Her first question to me was… feel like driving to Canberra? Ohh, Canberra… maybe. Upshot, as this post publishes, which has actually been scheduled (I know, shock, horror, hope you’re seated, after the last few days), I’ll be asleep on friend D‘s couch. D thinks we’re totally mad, but isn’t complaining to have his house filled up by interstate visitors who have only given him a few hours notice.

Back tomorrow! *waves* Well, maybe.

Responsibility, such a grown up word

There’s a reason I justify my actions, try to find some meaning in what I do. It’s called… responsibility. Such a grown up word. Responsibility. All those things that I think I have to do, that I think need to be done. Every year it seems there’s more I should be responsible about. When they don’t get done, guilt comes knocking.

In the past there’s been three main things I do once that guilt comes knocking… distract myself some more, race to get more done than I originally planned, or sit back and stress about it. That last one usually leads to depression the quickest. Doing more is me telling myself that enough isn’t enough, or enough is never enough. Eventually, I sit back and stress anyway, so depression will come knocking anyway. Obsessive distracting… that’s self denial. Denial that there’s a problem and denial that I can do anything about it. Usually, it leads to overdoing things, then depression, with the added memory of feeling incapable and ineffective.

I’ve been working on putting things in perspective, being more laid back… if that load of washing doesn’t get done today, what’s the worst that can happen? There’ll be one more set of clothes to add to it tomorrow. Seems to me that’s actually a bonus. It’s all perception again.

Perception. I’m trying to find a balance between how I see responsibility and how things are. It always comes back to what message I’m sending myself. Retraining my mind. Of course the hardest thing I’m finding is the ability to be more relaxed about things. To let things slide and be okay about it. That’s part of the false perfectionism I always felt I had to strive for, the perfectionism that I never believed I could reach anyway.

So three days posts published on one day. I almost managed to say stuff it and let the other two days stay post free. In the end I compromised… and kept them short.

Meaning and justifications, because of…

Getting obsessed in distractions can be a pain in the ass. Seriously. Lately, I’m more balanced when I distract myself, so I’m not so obsessive. Mostly I allow them as part of the depression toolbox. Sometimes it’s good to let my mind lose itself in something new and shiny. It’s a quick fix for the moment.

When it’s obsessive, when I let the new distraction take precedence, that’s when I justify my actions. Human nature makes it easy to do that. I like answers, I like meaning. Most of us do.

Of course, the most obvious problem with this is that it’s our perception that creates the justifications. For example, to sit doing puzzles for two hours means something different to my brother. For me, it’s part of a survival mechanism. For him it’s free time.

Huge difference in the way the exact same thing is seen between us… I justify it, he sees it as something to kill a little time with. The difference between over analysing everything and being laid back. Sigh. Always something new to understand about myself. I’m working on it.